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Cleveland's energy burden on low-income households

David Beach  |  04/28/16 @ 12:00pm  |  Posted in Clean energy

Cleveland ranks among the worst 10 cities in the nation in the energy cost burden on low-income and minority households. Energy efficiency can help reduce this disproportionate burden and put more dollars into the local economy.

Energy burden<br />Cleveland ranks high in the energy burden on low-income and African-American households. (Source: Lifting the High Energy Burdens in America's Largest Cities: How Energy Efficiency Can Improve Low-Income and Underserved Communities, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 2016)

Who will (and won't) pay for their water-polluting lots

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/28/16 @ 9:00am  |  Posted in Clean water

In late 2015, the Ohio Supreme Court sided with the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District and re-instated its Stormwater Management Program. NEORSD will soon start charging fees to property owners based on how much hard or paved surface they build. Stormwater can make pollution and damage from water flooding off pavement and rooftops into rivers, streams and Lake Erie worse. The Court...

A city unto itself<br />SouthPark Mall in Strongsville will get a free pass on thousands in stormwater fees (that other mall owners would surely covet).<br />Arcelor Mittal will pay one of the largest stormwater fees in Northeast Ohio unless it brings in a green infrastructure solution.<br />Eaton Corporation will pay $6,000 more per quarter than its former headquarters for stormwater running off its new campus.Tip of the iceberg<br />The Cleveland Clinic will pay tens of thousands of dollars for its stormwater runoff unless it stops building so much parking and starts aggressively pursuing green infrastructure. Here is the south east corner of the Clinic main campus.<br />When Severance Town Center comes out of receivership perhaps its new owners can figure out how to reduce their $10,000 a quarter stormwater fee with a green town center.<br />RTA will pay thousands in stormwater fees for its E 55 rail yard.
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Cleveland transit on the chopping block

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/27/16 @ 11:00am  |  Posted in Transit

Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority Board of Trustees met yesterday to hear a proposal for fare increases and service changes. It reflected the opinion of riders at 15 public meetings held March 21-April 6. Trustees asked the staff to revise certain recommendations and to make another presentation to them at their upcoming (May 10, 2016) board meeting. None of the proposed...

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Cool things seen at CSU Water Resilient Cities

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/22/16 @ 2:00pm  |  Posted in Water

The Great Lakes region may not be known as a hot bed of extreme weather events like those that buffet the Plains or swamp the coasts. But the Midwest is girding for climate change.

Super green lane<br />Sunset Avenue, the main drag of Butler University, just got a green spruce up. Indianapolis, Indiana green streets helped pay the $3 million project which has a porous pavement bike lane and 8,000 sq ft of linear rain garden. The alternative, conventional plan would have cost $3.5 million. Image: Williams Creek Consulting.A bridge to the future<br />Michigan City, Indiana wanted to do its part to clean up Lake Michigan and making its beach safe for swimming. A massive rain garden above and new sewer underground helped. Image: Alliance for the Great Lakes (which secured a $60,000 grant for the project).<br />Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District won its Ohio Supreme Court case to charge landowners a fee for their stormwater runoff. In part by digitizing its entire service area. Here, for example, is the Super Walmart at Steelyard Commons in Cleveland. <br />Nine Mile Creek in South Euclid before the city worked with Biohabitats, Inc. on what they call a regenerative stormwater conveyance. The creek was channeled into a concrete ditch. Image: Biohabitats, Inc.<br />Nine Mile Creek in South Euclid after its regeneration (not restoration) as the firm Biohabitats prefers to call it. Image: Biohabitats, Inc.<br />Milwaukee Water Commons is a citizen led effort to explore what it means to be a water city. They hold yearly summits and are working on a 10 year vision that the community gets to vote on. Image: Milwaukee Water Commons.Scranton Flats<br />The first publicly funded part of the Towpath Trail in Cleveland includes a 2,800 square foot nature shoreline. Image: Ohio & Erie Canalway
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Comparing transit in 10 Cleveland communities

Marc Lefkowitz  |  04/20/16 @ 3:00pm  |  Posted in Transit

85.3% of all jobs in Cuyahoga County are located within a half-mile of a transit stop. That is well above the U.S. average of 61.1%. And yet, only 5.17% of commuters in the county use transit. Probably due to factors like the frequency—or how often the bus comes near to their home and their work—and what can be reached with...

<br />The AllTransit tool from Center for Neighborhood Technology displays many things about transit access - like this map showing jobs near transit in Cuyahoga County. <br /><br /><br /><br />

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